More Feminist News!

National Science Foundation – Chore Wars: Men, Women and Housework: “Husbands create an extra seven hours a week of housework for wives, according to a new study. But wives save husbands from about an hour of housework a week.”
Shakesville: Horrifying New Law: Forced Ultrasounds Condition of Abortion: “Last week, the Oklahoma Legislature overrode the governor’s veto and enacted a law that puts a horrifying twist on informed consent requirements for women seeking abortion. While other states require that women seeking abortion be offered an ultrasound, this law requires that the woman have either an abdominal or a vaginal ultrasound, whichever offers the clearer picture, as a condition of having an abortion.”
New York Times – More Mothers Breast-Feed, in First Months at Least: “About 77 percent of new mothers breast-feed their infants at least briefly, the highest rate seen in the United States in more than a decade, according to a government survey released on Wednesday.”
The Frisky – The Daily Squeeze: Disney push-up bras?!
Our Bodies Our Blog: On Increasing Rates of Diabetes in Pregnancy: “An article set to appear in the May issue of the journal Diabetes Care is garnering widespread media attention today, as it declares that the prevalence of pre-existing diabetes in women who become pregnant has doubled over the past several years.”
Femme Den – Design for females, without “pinking and shrinking”: “Women are still underrepresented in the design industry,” says designer Erica Eden, of Smart Design. To combat that, Eden and three other female members of Smart’s staff (Agnete Enga, Yvonne Lin, and Gina Reimann) have started Femme Den, an in-company initiative to address the needs of female consumers without alienating males by merely ‘pinking and shrinking’ existing products.

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22 Comments

  1. faithlesswondergirl
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Oh my God, that news out of Oklahoma IS horrifying. Please please please keep us posted on if there is any action to be taken, even for non-Oklahoma residents. (Letter-writing, numbers to call, protests, etc.)

  2. aniri
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    This is a very interesting point in the chore wars article:
    Other activities such as home repairs, mowing the lawn, and shoveling snow were not in the study. “Items such as gardening are usually viewed as more enjoyable; the focus here is on core housework,” says Stafford.
    I don’t think that mowing the lawn equals gardening at all. I don’t want to take away from the significance of the study, but I think it’s important to take into account ALL the work done in the home to determine the final outcome. Classifying something as “enjoyable” is not fair. Some people find ironing enjoyable…should it be excluded from “core housework”? I think they could have done a little better. But a very important study nevertheless.

  3. RoseColoredGlasses
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The article about “Chore Wars” is so saddening and disappointing and true. I see that phenomenon all the time when I visit people homes-boy on the couch, girl in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and cleaning the rest of the house.
    I vowed to never be that kind of person. Sadly though, my fiance and I are kind of like the statistic. He and his stupid friends-really, I don’t like them always make a mess and who cleans it up…? None other than me.
    It pains me so much because I believe men should do their share of the work, too. But sometimes, I think that I would rather not mention anything or argue and that’s why I end up doing it.
    Btw…I have had the worst week-ever! Everything went wrong on every angle. Speaking of friends of boyfriends/fiances…yesterday I went off on his friends for not respecting me or even being courteous towards me even after being w/ my fiance for 4 yrs and knowing them that long too. I am sorry that I acted all crazy, but I am feminist and I am not going to have some stupid guys run my life!

  4. exelizabeth
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Aniri, a better way to think of it might be “regular housework.” The things they excluded are kind of ad hoc tasks that come up on an as-needed basis. You only need to shovel snow when it snows, or fix things when they’re broken.
    Often households will “split” work like that, where the woman is responsible for the routine, everyday things and require planning, organizing, and tracking (like grocery shopping and cooking), and the man takes care of things that “come up.” They call it fair, but it’s not fair. (Please note I generalize here–clearly not every household is this way).
    “The Second Shift” is an excellent look at this issue. It was written in the 80s, but only feels slightly dated. Which is sad.
    My long term boyfriend and I are breaking up, and I’m actually really excited about how much more time and money I am going to have now that I’m not picking up little expenses for him and doing most of the housework.

  5. Micing
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    The chores thing is disheartening. I grew up with a single dad who I remember saying that he never knew how much work it was to take care of kids and do housework until being single. Now that he’s remarried (happily!) I can report that he vacuums, does dishes, and repairs stuff.

  6. Randomizer
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m a feministy guy and still find that the way the data is massaged and reported is unbalanced.
    If you look at the data, marriage is correlated in an increase in housework for both men and women. Maybe because married people tend to move into bigger diggs where there is more to do?
    When you look at the difference between single and married men there is almost as big a jump in housework for the married guys.
    The title could just as easily read “how much housework does a wife create” or better yet — “married people do more housework and share it more equally than ever before.”
    There’s the real story — look at the bar charts — there is alot more equity in 2005 than in 1997.
    But the headline doesn’t read — “husbands doing more than ever.”
    Truer still given that the “mens work” around the home was excluded and the study states that men work more outside the home.
    I am all for equity in household responsibilities and find the way the data is reported is gynocentric.
    This demeans the importance of the very significant findings and plays to (nay drives) the dissatisfacton, frustration and resentment many women feel when they find out that marriage isn’t what they dreamed it would be.
    Does anyone else think that another drop of poison in the mix is just what gender relations in this society needs?
    The true story in the data is that things are getting better.
    But that wouldn’t fit the a priori assumptions now, would it.

  7. Randomizer
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m a feministy guy and still find that the way the data is massaged and reported is unbalanced.
    If you look at the data, marriage is correlated in an increase in housework for both men and women. Maybe because married people tend to move into bigger diggs where there is more to do?
    When you look at the difference between single and married men there is almost as big a jump in housework for the married guys.
    The title could just as easily read “how much housework does a wife create” or better yet — “married people do more housework and share it more equally than ever before.”
    There’s the real story — look at the bar charts — there is alot more equity in 2005 than in 1997.
    But the headline doesn’t read — “husbands doing more than ever.”
    Truer still given that the “mens work” around the home was excluded and the study states that men work more outside the home.
    I am all for equity in household responsibilities and find the way the data is reported is gynocentric.
    This demeans the importance of the very significant findings and plays to (nay drives) the dissatisfacton, frustration and resentment many women feel when they find out that marriage isn’t what they dreamed it would be.
    Does anyone else think that another drop of poison in the mix is just what gender relations in this society needs?
    The true story in the data is that things are getting better.
    But that wouldn’t fit the a priori assumptions now, would it.

  8. Randomizer
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m a feministy guy and still find that the way the data is massaged and reported is unbalanced.
    If you look at the data, marriage is correlated in an increase in housework for both men and women. Maybe because married people tend to move into bigger diggs where there is more to do?
    When you look at the difference between single and married men there is almost as big a jump in housework for the married guys.
    The title could just as easily read “how much housework does a wife create” or better yet — “married people do more housework and share it more equally than ever before.”
    There’s the real story — look at the bar charts — there is alot more equity in 2005 than in 1997.
    But the headline doesn’t read — “husbands doing more than ever.”
    Truer still given that the “mens work” around the home was excluded and the study states that men work more outside the home.
    I am all for equity in household responsibilities and find the way the data is reported is gynocentric.
    This demeans the importance of the very significant findings and plays to (nay drives) the dissatisfacton, frustration and resentment many women feel when they find out that marriage isn’t what they dreamed it would be.
    Does anyone else think that another drop of poison in the mix is just what gender relations in this society needs?
    The true story in the data is that things are getting better.
    But that wouldn’t fit the a priori assumptions now, would it.

  9. Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    slow connection — sorry for tripple post.

  10. spike the cat
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought the same thing about the article being potentially misleading.
    In fact my husband and I share chores and we break it up by the the things we like doing.
    And we do a lot of stuff together like shopping, fixing stuff and assembling crap.
    Some of the cleaning issues are simply lifestyle choices. For example, a lot of people have high maintenance homes, like wood floors and carpets that require a lot of work.
    Some materials are just easier to deal with. For example terra cotta tiles are durable, aren’t slippery when wet, and don’t show off dirt. Cleaning is simple;
    From the bathroom to the kitchen to the rest of the house, clutter is a cleaning nightmare. So if you can keep your surfaces clutter free, cleaning is so much quicker.
    I live in a small home by American standards. One of the ways to get reduce the time spent on chores is to choose smaller homes.
    Smaller living spaces forces you to not have a lot of junk. It seriously cuts down on the the time to dust and vacuum (and I have a long haired cat so I vacuum practically everyday)
    Taking shoes off before going into the house, minimizes some of the dust from outside.
    In my husband’s culture, people iron everything including sheets and jeans. That tradition ended with me– totally unnecessary. We are responsible for our own ironing and there will be no sheets or jeans going under the heat.
    I am a firm believer of kids doing chores and helping out around the house as well.
    just my 2 cents.

  11. meeneecat
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Randomizer, you have a couple things mixed up.
    You said:
    “If you look at the data, marriage is correlated in an increase in housework for both men and women…When you look at the difference between single and married men there is almost as big a jump in housework for the married guys.”
    Didn’t you see the part of the story that compared the work done by married men to single men (quote):
    “Single men did more (housework) in all age groups than married men.”
    That seems to contradict what you said about marriage correlating to an increase of housework for men, because actually it’s the exact opposite: married men to LESS housework than single men.
    So, contrary to what you said, marriage is NOT correlated to an increase in housework for men, it’s only correlated to an increase in housework for for women only (gee I wonder why). And married women still do more housework than married men, women do 17 hours/week as opposed to men who do 13 hours/week.
    Read the whole story before posting some assumptions that seem to be pulled out of yer bum. Your premise is wrong, so what you said afterwards makes no sense.

  12. Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    http://www.ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=6452
    “Single men did more (housework) in all age groups than married men.”
    That’s not what the report of the study on the U.Mich site seems to show. Follow the link above and then check out the bar chart.
    “So, contrary to what you said, marriage is NOT correlated to an increase in housework for men, it’s only correlated to an increase in housework for for women only (gee I wonder why). And married women still do more housework than married men, women do 17 hours/week as opposed to men who do 13 hours/week.”
    Actually not what the data presented shows.
    The quote I’d point to from th University site says:
    “Overall, the amount of housework done by U.S. women has dropped considerably since 1976, while the amount of housework done by men has increased, according to Stafford. In 1976, women did an average of 26 hours of housework a week, compared with about 17 hours in 2005. Men did about six hours of housework a week in 1976, compared with about 13 hours in 2005.”

  13. janet
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I see the chore item as a potentially good thing. In my experience, one partner is not sitting on his or her duff while forcing the other to clean. Instead, when there is a large discrepency in daily cleaning it is because partner A’s tolerance for living in filth is lower than the partner B’s. There are abusive exceptions, of course, but if anyone is bothered by dirt in her home for whatever reason, it seems to me the enlightened, self-positive action would be to clean. Waiting for a partner to care more about cleanliness is like waiting for Prince Charming to take you away. Grownups take care of themselves and do what has to be done to make themselves happy.
    I’m coming from th more slovenly half of a relationship, but I would resent my partner demanding that I clean more in order to make the house reach a level of tidyness that seems arbitrary to me.
    Life and relationships should not be about tallying scores or about forcing people to share your values.

  14. Randomizer
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Janet:
    This was rehashed recently either here or at pandagon or feministe. The most enlightened view, based on the premise that society tends to put the expectations (often internalized) on the woman of the home to maintain a standard of cleanliness. Her partner should realize that, since she is bearing this burden of expectation in any case, he could at least help lighten her load by working towards her internalized standard. He needn’t share the standard, just the burden of having been socialized to feel responsible for it.

  15. Carrie
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    “Single women, in 2005, who were in their 20s and 30s, did the least housework–about 12 hours a week on average, while married women in their 60s and 70s did the most–about 21 hours a week.”
    It’s interesting that women in retirement ages would do the most work. Theoretically, women in their 60-70s wouldn’t have children living at home. And hopefully a good portion of them would have the ability to retire so that could account for the additional time they spend cleaning.
    And I agree with spike the cat 100% on her views about decreasing overall chores based on living space (also eco-friendly) as well as dividing the chores based on personal preference.

  16. lyndorr
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Carrie, they probably have men helping out the least? I have never seen my grand-pa cook a supper or wash a dish.
    Randomizer, I see what you’re saying but I can just assume from this sutdy that that the increase for married men men comes with kids. If you look at the other graph depicting single and married people without kids, women do 7h more after marriage and men do an hour less. Interesting. Are men becoming more involved fathers but still ignoring the mundane “core housework”?
    Oh, and shoveling snow doesn’t seem so enjoyable to me. Neither does fixing things. Funny how the “men’s chores” are seen as more enjoyable.

  17. meeneecat
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Randomizer this is a quote from the study, this is NOT something I just made up. It clearly says:
    “Older men did more housework than younger men, but SINGLE MEN DID MORE IN ALL AGE GROUPS THAN MARRIED MEN.” (second to last paragraph down: aka: the conclusion)
    Don’t ask me where they get it from, probably from the data, but to me that clearly sounds like single men do more housework than married men. Wanna contest that? Write to the publishers of the study, not me.

  18. Randomizer
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Why the hostile tone meen — my main issue is with the way the study is reported and there are alot of inconsistencies.
    So, lets say we continue to play the quote game ….
    “Both the men and the women who got married did more housework than those who stayed single, the analysis showed. “Marriage is no longer a man’s path to less housework”
    That’s a quote from the reporting on the study — I didn’t make it up.
    The only way your most recent chosen quote could possibly jibe with this and the bar chart is if it is based on all the data across all time periods, since the 1975 data does show married men doing less than single men.

  19. waxghost
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Janet, I think the fair thing to do would be to each change standards and try to meet halfway. The partner who is used to a bigger mess has to put up with cleaning more than s/he normally would, while the partner who is used to more cleanliness has to let some of that slide.

  20. meeneecat
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Randomizer, I didn’t mean any hostile tone. Sorry ’bout that. There does seem to be some sort of mistake in the study, either they made a mistake in the text of the study or they made a mistake with the chart, because what they say in the conclusion doesn’t match up with their charts. It’s impossible for a reader to make a conclusion either way if the data is misrepresented.

  21. Mina
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I just found another relevant article:
    “Malaysia plans women travel curbs” by someone at the BBC, Sunday, 4 May 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7382859.stm :
    “Women’s groups in Malaysia have reacted angrily to proposed government restrictions on women travelling abroad on their own…”

  22. lyndorr
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t seem so confusing…it shows that childless married men do an hour less than childless unmarried men while women do more once they marry. But if talk about all married couples and not just childless ones, the married men are doing more than single men but still not as much as married women. That’s what I remember. I think the article also said for a woman with three kids there is the biggest discrepancy between men and women with women doing 27 hours a week. Although I wonder if women with three kids are more likely to not work outside the home? At least when the kids are really young.

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